Crime and punishment
March 17, 2014
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Late Sunday, off the coast of Cyprus, a team of U.S. Navy SEALs captured the hijacked oil tanker Morning Glory from Libyan rebels. "No one was hurt tonight when U.S. forces, at the request of both the Libyan and Cypriot governments, boarded and took control of the commercial tanker Morning Glory, a stateless vessel seized earlier this month by three armed Libyans," said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby. President Obama authorized the raid just after 10 p.m. on Sunday.

U.S. forces will escort the ship back to a port controlled by Libya's central government, which is fighting various factions for possession of the country's vast oil reserves.

The story of the Morning Glory is complicated and slightly madcap, but with serious implications for Libya and Europe, which gets oil from the country via a pipeline to Italy. On March 1, the North Korea-flagged ship turned off its satellite transponder and a week later turned up in the eastern Libyan port of Es Sider, which is controlled by a rebel militia that is trying to sell oil from the region for its own profit. On March 10, the tanker left port carrying 234,000 barrels of oil.

If breakaway regions are allowed to sell oil on their own, the Libyan government will quickly go bankrupt. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan ordered the Morning Glory stopped, even if it meant sinking the vessel. With Libya's navy essentially nonexistent and its air force embroiled in its own infighting, the militia Zeidan sent out to stop the tanker failed. Parliament then sacked Zeidan, who subsequently fled to Germany. On March 13, North Korea revoked the Morning Glory's registration, making it a stateless vessel.

Contraband oil is harder to sell than you might think. Libya could still descend into civil war, as various militias battle for resources and influence. But now at least the rebels in the oil-rich east know the risks of trying to use a heavily watched and coveted international commodity as a weapon. Peter Weber

CNN Democratic Debate
10:10 p.m. ET

As expected, Hillary Clinton was asked during the CNN Democratic debate about her use of a private email server while secretary of state, but it was Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who had the best response to Anderson Cooper's question.

Clinton said that she answered all of the questions asked of her by the official committee, which she called an "arm of the Republican National Committee. It is a partisan vehicle, as admitted by House Republican Majority Leader Mr. McCarthy to drive down my poll numbers. Big surprise, that's what they have attempted to do. I am still standing, I am happy to be part of this debate, and I intend to keep talking about the issues that matter to the American people."

Before Cooper could move on, Sanders jumped in: "Let me say something that may not be great politics, but I think the secretary is right, and that is the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails." Sanders said he goes around the United States and knows what people really want to talk about: "The middle class in this country is collapsing, we have 27 million people living in poverty, we have massive wealth and income inequality, our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs, the American people want to know if we're going to have a democracy or oligarchy as a result of Citizen's United. Enough of the emails, let's talk about the real issues facing America."

The room erupted in cheers, and Clinton shook hands with Sanders. Cooper gave Lincoln Chafee the opportunity to say he believes there is an issue of "American credibility" with the world, and "we need someone who has the best in ethical standards as our next president." When asked if she'd like to respond, Clinton gave a quick one word answer: "No." Catherine Garcia

CNN Democratic Debate
9:53 p.m. ET

The other four Democrats on stage with Hillary Clinton during Tuesday's presidential debate all agreed on one thing: Clinton's vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a huge blunder. "Well, I recall being on a debate stage about 25 times with then-Sen. Obama, debating this very issue," Clinton responded. "After the election, he asked me to become secretary of state. He valued my judgment." Watch below. Peter Weber

CNN Democratic Debate
9:34 p.m. ET
Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told Anderson Cooper during the CNN Democratic debate Tuesday that he isn't worried about people not voting for a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist.

Cooper said a new poll shows that half of the U.S. would not put a socialist in the White House, and asked Sanders: "How can any kind of socialist win a general election in the United States?" First, Sanders said, he would explain just what being a Democratic Socialist means: "What Democratic Socialism is about is saying that it is immoral and wrong that the top one-tenth of one percent in this country own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent." It also means, he added, acting like Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, and giving mothers family paid leave.

Cooper pointed out that Denmark has 5.6 million residents, and said his question was more about electability. "The facts are very simple," Sanders said. "Republicans win when there is a low voter turnout and that is what happened last November, 63 percent of the American people didn't vote, 80 percent of young people. We are creating excitement all over this country. Democrats from the White House down will win when there's a large voter turnout, and that's what this campaign is doing."

Cooper asked if he considers himself a capitalist, to which Sanders responded: "Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little? By which Wall Street's greed and recklessness wrecked this economy? No, I don't. I believe in a society where all people do well, not just a handful of billionaires." Catherine Garcia

CNN Democratic Debate
9:27 p.m. ET

The first question for Hillary Clinton at Tuesday night's debate, from CNN's Anderson Cooper, was pretty brutal, and came after he rattled off her changing positions on several issues: "Will you say anything to get elected?" Clinton defended herself by saying that she is open to changing her opinion if the facts change, citing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Cooper then asked Clinton if she is a "moderate or a progressive," and Clinton didn't hesitate: "I'm a progressive, but I'm a progressive who likes to get things done." That means working with Republicans, she added, but "I don't take a back seat to anyone when it comes to progressive experience and progressive commitment." Peter Weber

Democratic debate
9:25 p.m. ET
Getty/Alex Wong

In the first Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton went after Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont on the issue of gun control. When asked if Sanders, a moderate on gun control, was tough enough on the issue, Clinton quickly responded, "No, not at all," adding, "I think we have to look at the fact that we lose 90 people a day to gun violence." The crowd responded with a strong round of applause.

Attacking Sanders from the left came on the heels of Clinton defending her progressive credentials, in which she said, "I'm a progressive, but I'm a progressive who gets things done." Ryu Spaeth

Democratic debate
9:08 p.m. ET

The Daily Show knows most people are busy and don't have the time — or attention span — to listen to the Democratic candidates describe their platforms in two minutes. So, they came up with some handy cheat sheets for the first Democratic debate:

Now that they mention it, Bernie Sanders does look like his favorite food is probably soup. Catherine Garcia

jury says
7:53 p.m. ET

Jurors found a West Milwaukee gun store liable for negligence Tuesday, and ordered it to pay nearly $6 million to two officers shot on duty.

Badger Guns, previously known as Badger Outdoors, has at times been the top seller of firearms used in crimes in the United States, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says; in 2005, it moved 537 guns recovered from crime scenes, NBC News reports. Milwaukee police officers Bryan Norberg and Graham Kunisch were both shot in the face in 2009, and claimed in their suit that the store should have known the gun used in their shooting was sold in a straw purchase, meaning the gun was purchased on behalf of someone not legally permitted to own firearms themselves. The suit also says that between 2007 and 2009, six Milwaukee police officers were injured in shootings involving guns sold at Badger Guns or Badger Outdoors.

Kunisch, who was shot multiple times, lost an eye, and sustained a brain injury, said he had to retire because of the incident. Jurors ordered Badger Guns to pay Kunisch $3.6 million and Norberg $1.5 million, in addition to $730,000 in punitive damages. Catherine Garcia

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